A Course in Miracles Lesson Insights

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Listen to Lesson 17 Insights

ACIM Workbook Lesson 17 Insights

“I see no neutral things.”

As I was doing the exercise, it was clear to me that I was making comparisons in my mind about every object I looked at or I was associating it with other objects or people. Thus I had judgments about everything. They weren’t necessarily condemnation, but they were evaluations. This showed me the non-neutrality of my perceptions and interpretations at the surface.

But there is another level of non-neutrality of which I am not nearly so aware. This has to do with the statement in the lesson that I am not as yet aware of any real thoughts. I do not see ‘Life’ because I am not yet aware of real Life. The Course says God is Life. To be aware of Life, I must see God in everything. I have to admit this is not obvious to me. I can accept it as a concept but it is not something that directs my vision at this point. If it were, I would see only innocence. Forgiveness would be complete.

I have no neutral thoughts because I am still trying to make separation real. Forgiveness is the means by which I can let this go. This lesson is reminding me of the power of my thoughts and how they affect everything I perceive. It is another step in recognizing the cause of my world and bringing me to the place where I can change the cause and experience a different world, the real world, the forgiven world. I will practice this lesson today with gratitude, knowing that it is another step on the journey Home.

I see no neutral things because I am giving everything all the meaning it has for me. I bring the past into the present. This lesson is helping me to recognize and acknowledge the meaning I am giving to each thing that I see or experience. This lesson brings it back to my thoughts, what I am believing. The reason for events or what I am seeing is not out there. What I am seeing is coming from my mind and nowhere else, and it is there I must do the work. It is these meanings that I am giving that I first need to recognize and then hand over to my inner Teacher. My inner Teacher knows that these meanings are not true. My inner Teacher knows that separation is not true.

Even though I may know it intellectually, I still have much to hand over. There are still many layers of belief that need to be handed over or undone by the Holy Spirit. This is my practice today. I begin by seeing that I have no neutral thoughts. I begin by recognizing with each thing that I am giving it the meaning it has for me. There is no outside reality. Reality is one. Reality is formless. So I am willing today to take one more step in the undoing process, letting go of my grip on what I think is real. I practice today knowing that it ultimately brings me the freedom that I am really searching for.

When I clearly accept that I give everything its meaning, then I allow myself an opportunity to free myself from the limited thoughts to which I have been chained. I can rejoice in the practice of this exercise because it helps me realize how limited my ideas really are. In everything that I see as good, if I am truly honest with myself, I can find it tainted with limitation and therefore realize that what I see as good is also an illusion.

Love is Love. It has no fear. As I accept an opportunity to know the meanings I assign are limited and release them, I am asking Holy Spirit to show me Love that is unlimited, joy that is true. I celebrate the freedom of exercising this in every moment to let in true Love, true joy and true meaning. I am very grateful for the freedom these lessons engender. And I am very grateful to be able to exercise responsibility joyfully.

“I see no neutral things, because I have no neutral thoughts” is a very empowering perception. What freedom I gain as I truly begin to understand the power of my mind to choose in every moment between Love or fear. This is my ultimate release from fear and my ultimate return to Love. I cease to be afraid when I accept I am the creator of any fear I choose to perceive. It all comes back to my thoughts and the power of decision I have in every moment as given me by my Creator. In each moment I hold this one choice — to miscreate from fear or to create, which means to extend God’s Love. How free I am with Spirit to see a new world of peace, joy and Love.

As I do these lessons I can see that they are very true. I also accept the underlying lesson, that there is real life underneath what I see though I have not yet often experienced this. I feel good about this because although it is limited success, it is real success and this is not always the case for me with these lessons.

One thing that indicates to me that I am making some progress is that I seem to know immediately when I have made a judgment or said something that is out of accord with my real beliefs. I used to not notice all this stuff unless it was extreme and then it was usually when I did the lesson, or that night when I went to bed I would think about something and then feel all depressed as if the day was wasted because I didn’t live the lesson.

Now I have an entirely different attitude. I find myself thinking about the daily lesson frequently during the day and noticing thoughts that illustrate it. Of course, at this point, my whole life is lived in judgment and illusion, but when I do something or say something judgmental even by the ego’s standards I do catch it and I thank HS for making me aware of it. Then I ask Him for another way of seeing it.

Sometimes it is just old stuff, old habits. I laugh at someone’s mistakes or gossip about somebody. When I do that it immediately feels wrong and I offer it to Holy Spirit. But other times it is something to which I am emotionally attached. Someone hurts my feelings or says something to attack my ego and I react. When this happens it is not always as easy to let the reaction go. At another time in my life I might have held onto my emotional response to this for awhile, really wallowing in it. Now I might hold onto it, but all the time I am giving it over. I might then take it back… but I just do it again until I finally accept Holy Spirit’s healing. I feel so thankful for these little steps toward freedom.

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Reference Keys for
A Course in Miracles Quotes

How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles

Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:

T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.

W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.

M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.

C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6

The above numbering system of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992, The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.

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